ERIC Number: ED248521
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct-22
Reference Count: 0
What Should Computers Do in the Writing Center?
The computer applications that hold most promise for writers form a large class of utility programs, including word processing and text editing. However, the computer can pose some problems for the student in the writing center. What proportion of writing center students arrive ready to work at the keyboard? Will learning to type present special problems to students already alienated from writing? What learning will students transfer from computer assisted writing to the old fashioned kind done with pencil? The computer can tell how long the sentences are and can calculate a readability rating according to a mathematical formula, but it cannot take into account factors far more relevant to communication. It is by no means clear how stylistic programs would aid progress toward the primary goals for writing center students--fluency and development of ideas, sense of audience and voice, or shaping and copyreading, to name a few. Human dialogue programs are even more difficult to assess since they differ greatly, not only in quality but also in subject, and range from teaching logic to leading a student through heuristic procedures for invention. The computer may not be the great panacea for the problems students bring to the writing center. Teachers should take a critical attitude toward educational computing--continuing to learn about it while asking questions. Pedagogy should take precedence over technology. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Basic Writing; Software Evaluation; Writing Laboratories
Note: Paper presented at the Midwest Writing Centers Conference (Iowa City, IA, October 21-22, 1983).